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Poster: snori Date: Feb 23, 2013 4:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: How do you describe music ?

Well it was a quiet night at the bar until someone took exception at some music being described as a 'number'. And following the debates on 'it' this seems like the place to pose the question :-

a) Song
b) Track
c) Number
d) Piece

Answer on one side of the paper only.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Feb 23, 2013 8:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

A song is generally a short piece of music with words - if there aren't any words it's an instrumental.

A track, or groove (daddy-o), is a single recorded item of music on a long playing vinyl record.

A number is any item of music performed at a concert ('For our next number we're going to give you Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony...')

A piece can be any sort of artistic composition - a piece of music, a piece of writing, a piece of art (Give me some Musick...that piece of song, That old and Anticke song we heard last night.' - W. Shakespeare)


Much help?

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Poster: vapors Date: Feb 23, 2013 9:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

I like the image of a track on an lp that is visually separated by a wider groove.

I’d make one addendum in that in current audio usage, case in point a show uploaded to archive, a ‘track’ is any song/number/piece that is split up from a complete recording and designated with a title.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Feb 23, 2013 9:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

Quite right, Dan, that a track can refer to any discrete, individually accessible part of a recording, but the term originates from the groove, or track, left in the wax back in the good old analogue days.

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Poster: vapors Date: Feb 23, 2013 10:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

Righto, I’m hep to that - you are always on the stick. Playing sides, them was the days.
Good seeing you Rob; you make the king’s jive.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Feb 23, 2013 10:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

Well, we the cats shall hep ya
So reap this righteous riff
Here's the beat to hep ya
So reap this righteous riff


It's why we come, right? Book em, Danno!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 23, 2013 8:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

"...a number, I could use..."

Just curious, having been out of the "field" for decades, do folks still refer to a "joint" as a "number"?

Hi ya, RtWS!

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Feb 23, 2013 8:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

As I recall us Olde Worlde types never referred to our jazz cigarettes as 'numbers', it was usually a 'joint' or simply 'a smoke'. Really not a clue what they get called now.

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Poster: user unknown Date: Feb 25, 2013 5:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

the current street urchin terminology seem to be(due to their propensity to hollow out a cheap cigar and repack it with "herb", "dank nuggets", "chronic" etc, etc ) is "blunt"

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Feb 25, 2013 6:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

Ah yes, I'd come across that term via Kevin Smith's Bluntman and Chronic, not sure it's current this side of the pond though. So, does the uncouth urchin bogart the blunt?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 23, 2013 4:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

Yeah, the older brothers used "joint" and "number" about equally...so, I learned it as "...roll me a number, okay?" or "pass that number here, eh?" and "did you kill that number already?", so on, and so forth.

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Poster: snori Date: Feb 23, 2013 11:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

Round here it's abbreviated to 'J', and the only time 'number' gets mentioned is when someone calls out 'two's' as it is lit up, meaning 'next'.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Feb 23, 2013 12:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

snori - was it you who was singing the praises of Richard Hawley's recent album a few weeks ago, because if it was, mate, you were right on the money. Out-freaking-standing.

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Poster: snori Date: Feb 23, 2013 12:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

Hi Rob. Yes 'twas I. Been knocked out by that album since I got it last year. Saw him play a couple of songs from it on Jools, went out and got it and never stopped playing it since. The surprising thing is that everything else he'd done post Pulp I really disliked. Incredible turnaround. Just annoyed I couldn't get tickets for his Colston Hall show.

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Feb 23, 2013 5:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How do you describe music ?

Seems an appropriate question...

a) Set One of the normal GD concert usually contains many songs - involving lyrics, verses and refrains that are sung, a story told, an experience shared. Garcia was guilty of bringing many songs, from any genre, old and new, to light.

b) Describing music as a track is a product of the digital age, although one might find music on vinyl also described this way. It is a generic 'look-up' method, a tool for cataloging music.

c) Calling it a 'number' somehow relegates it to a bygone era - say the 1940s. Big bands would do a hot number. Also used to describe a cute female in that era, something Humphrey Bogart might mutter.

d) The typical GD concert had lots of 'pieces' more commonly described as 'jams', usually found in the second set. Sometimes hard to list as songs, they have unusual names, like Clementine, Spanish, or Mind Left Body... although Dark Star has a song element in the verse.

Some musical pieces are also called compositions; they usually involve an orchestra and go to some length in making a musical statement.

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